NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The New York City Department Of Transportation announced Tuesday that it will shut down a single outer outbound lane of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge at night.

The closure comes after several fatal accidents in the area of the off-ramp, most recently on Dec. 10, which claimed the life of an off-duty police officer. In that accident, a car slammed into a cement barrier, overturned and crashed into a vacant store on Queens Plaza South. Residents in the area had been complaining about the traffic pattern for years.

The change will take effect Dec. 30.

The lane will be closed from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily.

The move is designed to reduce “the potential for speeding and other unsafe nighttime driving when the lane is underused, while providing sufficient capacity for traffic volumes on the inner and upper roadways at all times of the day,” the DOT said.

“This upgrade to the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge is just the latest step we’ve taken to keep the more than 180,000 daily drivers crossing safely on one of the city’s most iconic bridges,” DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said.

St. Sen. Michael Gianaris hailed the decision by the DOT.

“I applaud the DOT for finally giving this dangerous stretch of road the attention it deserves,” Gianaris said. “Hopefully, the nighttime closure of the Queens-bound outer roadway will provide the time for a proper evaluation of the street design coming off the Queensborough Bridge exit ramp so we can eventually solve this problem once and for all.”

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